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tv   Newsline Prime Time 30min  KCSMMHZ  March 16, 2013 3:30pm-4:00pm PDT

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hello and welcome to nhk "newsline." i'm keikichi hanada in tokyo with the latest at this hour. he speaks fluent japanese, he's well-versed in japanese affairs, and now he's become one of china's top officials. former chinese ambassador to japan, wang yi, has been appointed as the country's foreign minister. he's the first chinese foreign minister with a broad knowledge of japan since tang jiaxuan held the post until 2003. >> translator: we appoint wang yi as our foreign minister. >> more than 2,900 delegates of the national people's congress
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have taken part in a vote for the cabinet ministers. the new premier named the candidates. wang yi received more than 99% of the delegate support. the 59-year-old former diplomat has held senior posts at the foreign ministry's japan division and at the chinese embassy in tokyo. as vice foreign minister, wang met japanese prime minister shinzo abe when abe was serving as secretary of the liberal democratic party. wang became china's ambassador to japan in 2004. many observers see the choice of wang as a sign that china's new leadership is seeking a breakthrough in the strained relations with japan, but some say wang will maintain a tough stance towards japan. they say he may find himself in a difficult position if he's seen as being too conciliatory amid the strong anti-japan public sentiments. japan has pledged to provide
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conflict-stricken countries in africa with about $550 million to help bring peace and stability to the continent. the japanese foreign minister made a pledge in a meeting with ministers from about 50 african nations in ethiopia and other countries. he will discuss the tokyo international conference on african development to be held in yokohama in june. >> translator: africa is drawing global attention as the world's next economic frontier. >> he also stressed a need to establish peace and stability for future growth and prosperity. the $550 million aid package will be provided to nations and regions that are plagued by civil war and fighting, including somalia, mali, and border regions between sudan and south sudan. the aid program is aimed at helping strengthen security
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forces and support refugees. the u.n. commission on the status of women has adopted a declaration calling for the end to violence against women and young girls. representatives from about 130 nations unanimously adopted a declaration on friday, the final day of a 12-day session in new york. the declaration condemns all forms of violence against women and young girls, including sexual assaults in conflict zones, human trafficking, and domestic violence. it calls on governments to provide laws that treats sexual violence as crime to better redress the victims and to educate people about violence against women. the commission last forecast on ending violence against women a decade ago but failed to reach a consensus. some countries were opposed to treating domestic violence as a crime.
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people close to the commission called the unanimous adoption epoch-making. cyprus is about to become the fifth eurozone nation to receive an eu bailout. euro zone finance ministers have agreed to provide the island state with about $13 billion in financial assistance. it comes as cyprus is struggling to cope with the effects of the european credit crisis. 17 eurozone finance ministers struck a deal on the rescue package at the meeting in brussels on saturday. the international monetary fund will be among the creditors. but lenders have set some tough conditions. they are calling on cyprus to increase corporate taxes and privatize state-owned firms. they're also demanding a tax on the bank deposits which would affect individual depositors. cyprus applied for financial aid last june. it said it needed the funds to bail out domestic banks that are
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being weighed down by the large amount of sovereign bonds they are holding issued by debt-ridden greece. >> the euro group consider that is in principle financial assistance to cyprus is warranted to safeguard financial stability in cyprus and the euro area as a whole. >> reporter: the chief of the eurozone's finance minister says cyprus must tax bank deposits given the fact that a size of its banking system surpasses the country's economy. officials in venezuela decided not to embalm the body of the late president. hugo chavez died earlier this month after a long battle with cancer. the venezuelan government initially planned to have chavez's body embalmed for permanent display, but information minister ernesto villegas says the government has dropped the plan. he quoted russian experts as
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saying that a body would have to be transported to russia and remain there for up to eight months for embalming. acting president nicolas maduro says the embalming process would have been more difficult than the government imagined because it should have started much earlier. the body will remain lying in state at the military museum in the capital caracas until officials decide on the burial site. a 90-year-old indonesian man has been awarded an honorary doctorate by hiroshima university nearly 68 years after studying at the university's former school. hasan rahaya began studying in april 1945. however, he was unable to graduate because of the u.s. atomic bombing of the city four months later.
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even though he had been exposed to radiation, he bravely helped rescue others in need. hiroshima university's vice president shin-ichi uye handed the the document to hasan at the ceremony in jakarta on saturday. he said hassan had contributed to mutual friendship with japan and that he had shared his experience in hiroshima with many people in indonesia. >> translator: i am very happy to have received an honorary doctorate. after a long cold winter, one of the most awaited moments of the year has arrived for people in tokyo. the season's first cherry blossoms have been spotted. >> translator: we've confirmed that cherry trees are blooming. >> officials at the meteorological agency say six blossoms appeared on saturday. the officials use the cherry trees at a shrine as a benchmark to announce the start of the annual cherry blossom season.
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the flowers arrived 15 days earlier than last year and are the earliest ever since record-taking began in 1953, tying the record set in 2002. the trees are expected to be in full bloom in about one week. >> translator: i'm excited. it's getting very warm. >> translator: every year i party with friends under the cherry trees, but this year we're not even ready. we didn't expect it to be this early. up next, the world weather forecast.
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and that's it for this hour on "newsline." i'm keikichi hanada. on behalf of our team, thank you for staying with us.
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